One morning you wake up and get it. Society perceives you as old. (Ex-cons probably have it easier getting work than aging Baby Boomers). The economy never really did bounce back to the end of the 1990s. Maybe won't for years. And we're not kidding anyone, at least among the Millennials, that we are sure-fingered around digital technology.
The reflex action is to recall how successful we had been in the past and how much of a failure we will continue to be in the future. No, it doesn't dawn on us to focus on the present.
That was then. Now in the now I am billing the hourly I had before the whole thing came down. Clients treat me well, just as they did before there was a glut of writing talent. And, I live in terror more assignments will be dangled in front of me and I will be seduced into taking on more than I can handle.
How did I get from yesterday and tomorrow to today? I sought help from the right guides, listened, and did some paradigm shifts. Here is some of what "they" (Buddhist monks, psychics, college friends from Class of '67, neighbor whose health was the reason she had to stop working at age 78, and animal companion Lee K).
Forget the age stuff. Once we shift the focus, so does everyone else. That opens the door to our presenting what we can do for them, now. Today. Yes, we indicate we can parachute right in. You bet, I do pull all-nighters, still.
Practice mindfulness. That's the big term for meditating. Here is the article in WIRED which explains why employees at Facebook and Google are spending time on the cushion. Those benefits range from clarity of thinking to preventing time travel. Yes, we stay in the now.
Hold the rage. As we all know, blink wrong at a driver and we risk our lives. Extreme anger is the epidemic of our times. Yet, it remains unforgivable. Prospects and clients remember the whatever. Once we get a hang of how not to blow, it's a piece of cake to self-regulate.
Never stop marketing. Like the politicos we always have to be out there hunting. They need funds and votes. We need work. The ultimate position of strength is based on knowing that we know how to market effectively. To paraphrase that old saying, teach someone to market and they won't be without work long.
No, we don't forget the days of despair. And that's a good thing. In 12-step programs the trusted leaders tell us to keep the memory vivid of what got us into "the rooms."